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Systems Integration: A Constant Struggle for Businesses Everywhere

Softwarium

February 15, 2021

7 min read

The amount of business apps companies use is increasing every year. In fact, according to a Wall Street Journal report, the number of apps used by large companies has increased 70% over the past four years reaching 129 per company. Obviously, it’s very important to get the highest return on all of these investments. 

data integration platform

Connecting all of the various subsystems that exist inside businesses of all sizes poses daunting tasks for IT managers and directors all over the world, yet it is vital for the overall cooperation inside the enterprise. This problem is only getting worse because the number of applications, devices and the volume of data keeps increasing. This is why we are proposing a new solution to meet modern challenges.

Background Information

There are many systems inside businesses that have different backend data. These include: 

  • Legacy system
  • Email provider
  • Third-party software
  • Payment systems
  • CRM

The list above can go on and on but the data that is contained inside each system is stuck inside, which means that it cannot communicate with any other system, outside apps, or devices. For this reason, companies try to integrate all of their systems together, usually via API integration platforms, which are then able to access the data and connect all of the systems together.

The Old Way of Doing Things

There are many different methods companies have used in the past to make all of their components work as one, well-oiled machine:

  • Point-to-Point Integration – This is one of the most simple integration methods out there since it offers a 1:1 relationship meaning that one sender sends a message to a single receiver. Since there are only two system components, this really can’t be considered as integration. In addition, Point-to-Point integration is very time-consuming and expensive to create.
  • Star Integration – This is where all of the subsystems are integrated together via the Point-to-Point integration model. While it does allow for more functionality, it becomes increasingly problematic as the number of systems that need to be integrated increases. Plus, it is very costly to maintain, and making changes will cost even more.
  • Vertical Integration – This method is slightly more advanced than Point-to-Point Integration simply because since you can integrate more than two systems together, but still it is very limited. Furthermore, it creates functional silos that present a lot of problems since each functionality will require its own silo.

Since the methods used in the past do not work, what is the best cross-platform integration method used by companies today? What is a data integration platform? Let’s find out the answer.

Mulesoft iPaaS (integration platform as a service)

Mulesoft is your one-stop-shop for all of your IT integration needs since it makes it very easy to design, create and manage APIs. It allows companies to speed up the pace of development thus saving money and increasing operational efficiency. It is possible to connect your legacy system to a new one, it is much cheaper than other middleware software solutions out there and everything can be done much faster. This is because you no longer have to use different tools to integrate various types of data.

While there are other solutions that are also open-source, lightweight, and offer active communities, such as Apache Camel, but the difference is in the flexibility. The Mule ESB is a comprehensive integration platform software which means that it can provide both a mediation framework and service container. This will be very useful when you have an unexpected issue such as handling high availability, scaling, and security. This forces another service provider to pair another third-party provider with their product. If we continue with our example of Apache Camel, which is a mediation framework, which means that it will have to be combined with a container service like Apache ServiceMix.

integration platform as a service

Overcome These Challenges to Get a Competitive Advantage

While integrating all of the data sources can be difficult especially when the data and backends are the same, and a data integration platform like Mulesoft can save you a lot of headaches. You can use Mulesoft to implement integration flows that will streamline all kinds of business processes thus making your company much more efficient. With so much competition nowadays, any advantage you can get will help you stand out in the marketplace. Therefore, start taking advantage of the data you have and be better prepared for the overall growth of your business.

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